|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from House of Mirth by Edith Wharton:
not to make any difference; but if I'M old enough, you're not,"
she objected gaily. "I'm dying for tea--but isn't there a quieter
He answered her smile, which rested on him vividly. Her
discretions interested him almost as much as her imprudences: he
was so sure that both were part of the same carefully-elaborated
plan. In judging Miss Bart, he had always made use of the
"argument from design."
"The resources of New York are rather meagre," he said; "but I'll
find a hansom first, and then we'll invent something."He led her
through the throng of returning holiday-makers, past sallow-faced
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from One Basket by Edna Ferber:
that comes just before dawn. The crowing of the cocks, the
stamping of the cattle, the twittering of the birds in the old
elm whose branches were etched eerily against his window in the
ghostly light --these things he had never needed. He had known.
But here in the un- sylvan section of Chicago which bears the
bosky name of Englewood, the very darkness had a strange quality.
A hundred unfamiliar noises misled him. There were no cocks, no
cattle, no elm. Above all, there was no instinctive feeling.
Once, when they first came to the city, he had risen at
twelve-thirty, thinking it was morning, and had gone clumping
about the flat, waking up everyone and loosing from his wife's
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Travels of Sir John Mandeville by Sir John Mandeville:
fled into Greece. And when they were in a plain that hight Megon,
anon this cursed emperor met with them with his host for to have
slain them and hewn them to pieces. And anon the Christian men
kneeled to the ground, and made their prayers to God to succour
them. And anon a great thick cloud came and covered the emperor
and all his host. And so they endure in that manner that they ne
may not go out on no side; and so shall they evermore abide in that
darkness till the day of doom, by the miracle of God. And then the
Christian men went where them liked best, at their own pleasance,
without letting of any creature, and their enemies enclosed and
confounded in darkness, without any stroke.
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:
he is not a bad boy."
After a short pause John said slowly, "You must not be too hard upon me, Tom.
I know he meant no harm, I never said he did; I know he is not a bad boy.
But you see, I am sore myself; that horse is the pride of my heart,
to say nothing of his being such a favorite with the master and mistress;
and to think that his life may be flung away in this manner
is more than I can bear. But if you think I am hard on the boy
I will try to give him a good word to-morrow -- that is,
I mean if Beauty is better."
"Well, John, thank you. I knew you did not wish to be too hard,
and I am glad you see it was only ignorance."